@caronmlindsay has just alerted me to the fact that Scottish Roundup and has just published the result of a wee vote they’ve run on scottish Political blogs. I’m on it at no.6. Fair enough, my colleague Tom Harris is at 4 but you can’t have everything. I’m pretty chuffed, actually. Thank you very much to folk who put in a word for me – it’s very nice, I must say.
These polls are quite fun although they’re obviously meant to flag up the fact that there’s a lot of great political blogging going on in Scotland – most of the best ones get missed out of most lists. I think there’s a trend towards blogging (and Tweeting too, actually) which recognises that we can have party allegiances but also be big girls and boys about it all. And the more I learn from everyone else who engages in social media, the more I think that cheap knocking-copy doesn’t work here at all. Folk just turn off. In addition, while no-one wants to create a kind of oddball political class love-in, it’s pretty clear that living and letting live yields more for everyone.
One of my favourite blogs, for example, is Subrosa. It’s vehemently SNP and anti-Labour, but it’s intelligent and says things which make me think sometimes about my own position on things. There are also interesting poll-questions there, like the one on the front page now about MPs pay where the most popular outcome is the very sensible idea that MPs should be tied to a civil service pay scale (this has been broken now and I’ve no idea how the new overseer will decide, but I do know his decisions will continue to be controversial).
A lot of the key political areas and issues, like Euthanasia or Foreign policy, drive debates which aren’t party political in nature. Sure, parties then have to fashion their own responses to them, but it seems to me that we often get the cart before the horse – taking up party lines before we’ve even thought about the issues for ourselves. If parties are to be a bit more ‘bottom up’ then political dialogue shouldn’t be constrained by blind loyalties; not in the first instance anyway, surely?
Whatever, I’m not going soft and of course i want Labour and not the Tories to win the General Election in the UK. But I do think that social media has opened up a huge new space for intelligent thinking, agreement and disagreement. And long may it last.